The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families. We advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination. MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

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On the Blog

Six MSJDN Members Nominated fo…

Six MSJDN Members Nominated for Mil…

Six, yes, SIX of our talented MSJDN members are among the newly announced nominees for the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year. Join us in congratulating Maria Chavez-Black, Tara G… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

5 days ago

Justice for Military Families…

Justice for Military Families Nominated for ABA Award, But Needs Your…

Lawyers sometimes get a bad rap. But for most lawyers, and especially military spouse lawyers, s… Read More

Josie Beets

3 weeks ago

 

Profiling Success: Christina S…

Profiling Success: Christina Sarchi…

MSJDN Member Christina Guerola Sarchio has had a varied, exciting career that would be the envy of any lawyer. It is also the product of a surprising journey. Currently a partner in Orrick, Herrington… Read More

Natalie Wilson

4 weeks ago

Oklahoma Becomes 12th State to…

Oklahoma Becomes 12th State to Adopt Military Spouse Attorney Licensin…

On December 15, 2014, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma approved a licensing accommodat… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

1 month ago

 

Federal Bar Association Includ…

Federal Bar Association Includes Mi…

MSJDN’s strong working relationship with the Federal Bar Association (“FBA”) has been evident this year. First, the FBA’s Government Relations Committee officially included Military Spouse Attorney Mo… Read More

Thea Pitzen

1 month ago

Our Mission:

MSJDN supports military spouses by:
- Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
- Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
- Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
- Providing a support network.
- MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

The Barriers:
Geographic Insecurity
Military Families are geographically insecure, moving every two to three years, often with tours overseas. These moves are based on the needs of the U.S. government, and are mandatory for the service-member. Although the spouse and children may technically refuse to move, this causes obvious hardships on families already often separated by deployments.

Legal Profession
Attorneys are required to be licensed in each state where they practice. Licensing can take up to a year, sometimes more, for the application, character and fitness review, bar examination, and processing. Licensing can cost $4,000 to $5,000 each time for preparation materials and fees. All gaps in employment must be justified on bar applications and can cause delays in admission.

What this means for our Members
It is not unusual for our members to have taken 3 or 4 different bar examinations. Less than 1/3 of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. Half of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions as paralegals/secretaries, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack of portable employment opportunities.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Ronnie G

    Hello, I’m a military spouse seeking advice on how to handle a divorce, my husband left town after discharge back in the 90s and is refusing to submit a fee waiver so that I can file a divorce in my state. Nor will he provide financial status info. Am I entitled to any benefits now that he is out the military, how do I find out if he has been collecting spousal allotments on my behalf? What are my rights going forward?

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Elizabeth JamisonElizabeth Jamison

      Ronnie, We are a bar association, not a legal provider. An attorney would need to know more details before being able to advise you properly. If you would like to email communications@msjdn.org, we can pass along your information to our membership and see if any military spouse attorneys are available in your area to assist you. We would also suggest contacting your local bar association for a referral to a local attorney to help you.

      Reply

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